*Editor’s Note: Adrian is taking some well deserved time off, so his good friend Samuel agreed to fill in.
Gay men don’t always respond well to being told how to fuck.
Maybe it stems from the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, where our sexuality was a source of personal expression and rebellion? We had no rights, were viewed as perverted deviants, and were in the process of starting a revolution for equal rights that would be fought until and beyond the point that I write this.
Sex was one way to make our point and celebrate our beautiful selves while society, on the whole, couldn’t look past their prejudice enough to see that.
Even when sex seemed to be on the verge of wiping us out, we still fought to do it on our own terms. Gay men, after all, do not always respond well to being told how to fuck.
Today, in an age of PrEP, and treatments that can help blast the HIV virus into near oblivion, many men are now trying to go back to doing it the way we used to.
The question is: Should we?
I have encountered what I see as a sexual arrogance emerging in our local community. I am by no means innocent in this. PrEP is viewed as a magic bullet, and more men seem to be keen on barebacking, since they know the likelihood of contracting HIV is significantly reduced.
PrEp doesn’t reduce the risk of other STDs, including herpes, syphilis and antibiotic resistant strains of chlamydia and gonorrhea. These may have taken a back seat during the AIDS crisis, but they are currently on the rise. If you doubt this, check with the CDC.
I also worry about what I view as semi-open relationships.
I know couples who are completely transparent in their extra-curricular activities. That’s great. There is clear communication. If I can shake the hand of your partner right before I bone you, your relationship is truly open.
But I’ve seen profiles on hookup apps that say “open” and are followed closely by “discreet.” And I’ve quizzed some acquaintances on the nature of their open relationships. It’s by no means a true sample group, and the responses I got varied, but at least they were honest. One response I got summed some of the others up best, though, when he said, “We don’t talk about it.”
So, in short, a Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell approach.
It makes me wonder: How many couples are in an open relationship where one of the partners is unaware of it? What could be getting spread around by people who are unwilling to speak about their basic needs and desires to the person closest to them?
I imagine a response of: It’s my relationship, what business is it of yours?
You may be right about that. But we have been given our right to marriage in a momentous decision that has rocked our country. Here is an opportunity to be open and honest, to communicate with our loved ones. Perhaps we can show our straight counterparts how to do these relationships better. We are used to being in closets and to conducting our business in secret, because that is what our community has known.
So let’s open up and try some transparency, communication and honesty. It doesn’t change the fact that gay men don’t like being told how to fuck. But maybe we can start to focus on how to communicate and, more importantly, how to listen.